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Carrying on a Frank Tradition of Education, Altruism, and Excellence

Photo © John Livzey
Few people ever get to define the industry they work in. Myra Frank was one of those select few. A recognized leader in environmental planning and assessment, Ms. Frank launched Myra L. Frank & Associates (MFA) in 1980. Specializing in transit systems, rail corridors, infrastructure, and Los Angeles infrastructure, MFA quickly became the leading firm in its field. And Ms. Frank and her firm were involved in virtually every major transit project in Los Angeles including the Downtown People Mover and the Pasadena Gold Line, as well as significant projects in 31 states. But her renown didn’t stop there. 
Known particularly for her mastery in guiding clients through the intricacies of the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, Ms. Frank and her firm received many awards for their work and her accomplishments. MFA was also named as one of the “Top 100 Women-Owned Business” for three years in a row by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The California Preservation Foundation also recognized MFA for its work. But without question, Ms. Frank set the tone for the firm. 
A firm believer in education, Ms. Frank held a BA in political science from Syracuse University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She also garnered a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate study from Harvard University, where she earned a master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Government/Urban Government. She also lent her expertise to the Transportation Research Board, the Association of Environmental Professionals, the American Planning Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Central City Association, and numerous other organizations. Of course, her contribution to WTS-LA is indelible. 
A founding member of the chapter, Ms. Frank served WTS-LA in numerous capacities through the years. Through her firm, her work, and her contributions to professional organizations, Ms. Frank fought staunchly for the right of women to advance in the industry, honoring WTS-LA’s mission. Today, her daughter Elisabeth Rosenson, continues that tradition, serving as the chapter’s Scholarship chair for more than six years. Through her work, she continues her mother’s passion to see young women receive education and opportunity through WTS-LA. 
In December 2003, Myra L. Frank died of cancer. Prior to her death, though, she merged her firm to form Myra L. Frank/Jones & Stokes, which was acquired by ICF International in 2008. To honor her work, her indelible contribution to the transportation industry, and her considerable efforts in advancing women in transportation, WTS-LA created two scholarships in her honor. Each year at the WTS-LA Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner, WTS-LA awards the $10,000 Myra L. Frank Memorial Graduate Scholarship and the $7,500 Myra L. Frank Memorial Graduate Scholarship to two deserving young female students in graduate school that reflect Ms. Frank’s commitment to education and the transportation industry. The winners are chosen especially for their success to date, as well as the expectations that they, too, will contribute significantly to the industry. 


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